As the summer ends the once empty school halls fill up with students and faculty, but there are a few unfamiliar faces… especially Anna Payne in the Guidance office.

Always having loved working with youth, Payne graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University last May and began a job hunt. She got here to PG and it hit a heart string.

Native to eastern North Carolina the rustic environment of Prince George is something she embraces. When she came in for her interview and got to know some of the people she knew it would be perfect.

Even though this is her first year as a school counselor, this is not Payne’s first time in a position helping kids.

“I used to work for a non-profit that did a lot of mentoring and after-school programming and I really enjoyed my time with those students particularly my high school students. But I really felt like I didn’t have the right tools or knowledge to really help them get where they wanted to go like graduating high school and whatever kind of post-secondary goals they had,” Payne said.

Now even though it is her first year, Payne has over 300 students assigned to her.

“I just really want to be able to support all of my students and there are over 300 of them. So just being able to be an advocate and support and help students however I can is my goal,” Payne said.

With a counseling degree, a counselor can work any grades k-12, but Payne chose to only work with 10-12.

“The really exciting thing about high school to me is really being able to talk to kids like you and hear dreams and goals, and really get a sense you’re really kind of finding your identity in the world,” Payne said.